To be perfectly honest, I think summer is pretty awesome (I know, so controversial of a statement, right?). But the main reason why I like it so much is because I know that each year, I’m going to knock out so many projects that my house simply won’t look the same come fall. Granted, some are a bit more complex – like repairing and painting the siding on my once termite-infested home – but thankfully, many of them are so simple and inexpensive that I often find myself wishing I’d done them sooner.
So, now that the weather gods have granted us longer days, here are five easy summer projects ideas you can knock out in no time!
1. Spruce up the mailbox
Red and yellow flowers are known to be the most eye-catching colors, so realtors often suggest these if your house is on the market. Even so, simply playing with a variety of colors makes this task easy and fun. Marigolds, snapdragons, and vinca have all grown well in my sunny front yard, so I like to change it up with annuals and experiment each year with something new. This is also a great time to remove old mulch, put down weed blocker (wet newspaper is a free and easy recycled use for this), and fix any landscaping around the mailbox bed.
2. Update the house numbers
Have you ever gotten your neighbor’s mail? It might be because your house numbers aren’t easy to see. In addition to updating the mailbox with flowers each summer, I also give it a little scrub to clean off any gunk (birds like to rest there – ick) and to make sure that the house numbers are still easy to read. My solution was to replace the reflective stickers that I attached to the side of the mailbox (even though they are an all-weather design, they sometimes peel in the heat). A few coats of spray paint was all it took to freshen up the metal house numbers attached to the siding, and now my pizza no longer gets delivered across the street. That definitely goes in the win column!
3. Revamp the front door
One of the biggest low-budget and high-impact changes I’ve made in the last few years has been to update the drab and boring front door. A few coats of paint took care of the faded color, but moving and replacing the doorbell with something more modern, updating the door hardware to a sleeker set, and adding some inexpensive hanging baskets to the front porch gave me a newfound boost every time I pulled into my driveway. It seemed like something so small at first, but the pick-me-up is a welcoming sight after a long day at work!
4. Add outdoor lighting
I live in the south, where summer entertaining is practically mandatory. When the sun finally goes down, I still want my guests to be able to find their way to that front door that I’ve just spent time upgrading. Solar walkway lights take care of the sidewalk issue (and can be found super cheap), but I also love the twinkle and glow of string lights. For these, it’s best to find a set online – usually, these are less expensive than the ones at the local store, and I pay close attention to reviews for anything that has to stand up to the heat, wind and rain. Don’t forget to buy a few tiki torches too (or make some if you prefer to DIY)… nothing ruins a party quite like mosquitoes and biting insects!
Bonus: Create a raised garden bed
One of my favorite additions to my home in the last year has been a raised garden bed (or three!). Fence pickets are plentiful and inexpensive at the local home improvement store, so they are the perfect material to cut down and customize to any dimensions needed. There are some great tutorials online for how to build them quickly (like here), so in as little as an afternoon, you can have a brand new place for your favorite flowering shrubs. I chose gardenias for mine, and now I get to enjoy their sweet fragrance every time I open my backyard gate.
For me, summer is all about curb appeal and taking advantage of the weather for outdoor projects. So when spring days finally start to stretch out, that’s my signal to really get to work. It may literally be sweat equity in the summer heat, but I’ve found that it’s actually pretty easy, and one of those bang-for-your-buck ideas that never leaves me disappointed.
Plus, you can save the “ughs” because most of your DIY projects are automatically covered by home insurance with “other structures coverage.” At Progressive, this means structures not attached to your house: fences, decks, mailboxes and even unattached garages, pools etc. (if your projects are a bit bigger).
Images within the article courtesy of The Ugly Duckling House blog. All rights reserved.